#CreativeFriday – Configuring Lightroom’s Auto Import feature

I was presenting this week to some photographers and a question was raised about Lightroom’s Auto Import function. The question was, how to set it up to watch a folder and auto import the content.

There are many ways to use the Auto Import feature, and will depend on your workflow scenario. Some examples are, auto import from an application like Photo mechanic, from a 3rd party tether app, from dropbox or even from the Creative Cloud. I wanted to show and explain how to set up a practical example, based on a scenario that I have recently had.

In my home studio (shown below). You can see Lightroom on the main computer (iMac in the middle), then a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 on the right side, with a film scanner on the left. My process was to scan from the scanner to the Wacom Cintiq, then once each film has been scanned (36 exposures), they are transferred by memory card to the iMac and into Lightroom.




The question, raised a good point, can I improve this workflow and get the import into Lightroom the films in a much better way.

The Auto Import feature in Lightroom can be configured to watch any folder, even a Creative Cloud folder. On the Cintiq I have Vuescan running, scanning the negatives, then outputting to a folder. Let’s see how to have the output folder be a Creative Cloud folder and the inbound one being the same on a different computer.

The series of steps will walk through how to configure this up and get the Auto Import running.

  1. On the Cintiq side, i’ve created a folder structure on the Creative Cloud called Scans / Current Scan. This folder, once created, will be synced to the iMac  (as long as the Creative Cloud Desktop and Folder Syncing is turned on, on both machines).


2. Vuescan is configured to save the TIFF file to the ‘CurrentScan’ folder above.

N.B. The file should be set to Date and Time (YYYMMDD_HHMMSS.xxx), this will allow each file to have a unique file name.

3. Once the negative has been scanned, the output TIF file will be placed into the Current Scan folder. (N.B Vuescan will write the initial file and streams the content to it, the Creative Cloud sync will start when the initial file is created, but will report errors because it’s not closed until Vuescan has finished creating the file. Once Vuescan has completed it’s processing, the Creative Cloud Sync will transfer the file).


4. The iMac has the same file configuration, because the Creative Cloud has synced everything across (I am logged in with the same User ID, so it’s not a share with anyone else).

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5. Within Lightroom, the Auto Import Settings can be found under the menu option ‘File / Auto Import / Auto Import Settings’, select this option and the following dialog will be shown.


We know that the file will be created on the Creative Cloud Current Scan folder, this should be specified as the watched folder.

We know where the file should be placed once Lightroom has completed the import. This folder will be the Scan folder that relates to the physical index of the negative set (in this case, the series 29102015_5 (the 5th film in the series from the 29th October 2015, a recent trip to india)). (The subfolder name index (_5) should be manually increased by 1 for the next film, or a new index reference, that relates back to your film archive strategy).

I also would like to make the series look like the HP5 film type, luckily, I have the VSCO HP5 treatment, so i’ve selected this from the Develop Settings list. I’ve also added my metadata template (this contains my copyright and contact details), as well as the global keyword for the film set.

The Enable Auto Import has been turned on, once the OK button is pressed this watched folder will start. After the images have been imported, the file will removed automatically from the Current Scan Folder.

(N.B. The watched folder must be empty when the background job starts)

6. Within Lightroom, the destination folder will appear on the left hand side within the folders section. The image will appear on the film strip and within the grid view.

This is ideal for a local set up, but it could also be extended to someone scanning in a remote location or multiple people scanning from many locations.

Hopefully this will give you creative ideas on using the Auto Import watched folder feature for a scenario that you may have.

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Among Eagle Hunters and Nadaams – An Adobe Slate Creation.

A recent trip to Mongolia sent time with the Eagle Hunters and Nadaams, here is my short portfolio of the trip (All made with Adobe Slate). Why not make your own and see how easy Adobe Slate is to use.

Among Eagle Hunters and Nadaams


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#CreativeFriday – Webinar with Datacolor – Creative Cloud Photography Plan features from Max

Earlier this week Datacolor and I held a webinar on Colour Management as well as the Creative Cloud Photography plan. The main topics of this session were updates from Lightroom CC/6 as well as some of the new Photographic iPhone and iPad apps, including Photoshop Fix, Lightroom. You can watch the webinar on-demand below.


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#CreativeFriday – Favorite Adobe Max Sneak – #3D Portraits

We had the amazing Adobe Max last week where we announced lots of new apps, improvements to the desktop and mobile apps and lots more. Of course there is always the Sneaks which is a highlight of the event, but i wanted to share my favourite of these.

#3D Portraits.

Photoshop can convert photographs to 3D images, but the process currently involves lots of manual steps. Our new early tech preview of 3D portrait technology smartly recognizes facial elements, eyes and mouth and more, quickly and efficiently automating much of the process of turning photographs into usable, printable, 3D images.

The other sneaks can be found on the Adobe blog.

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Creative Cloud Event at Film Oxford

Creative Cloud Event Oxford

Thursday, Nov 19, 2015, 7:30 PM

Film Oxford (OFVM)
54 Catherine Street Oxford OX4 3AH, GB

5 Creatives Attending

On November 19th Adobe specialists Richard Curtis and Niels Stevens are coming to Film Oxford for a special presentation on the new features of Creative Cloud for photographers, designers and film makers.Don’t miss this opportunity to see the latest features in the new release of Adobe Creative Cloud 2015, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere,…

Check out this Meetup →

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#CreativeFriday – Extracting Original file from a Photoshop Raw Smart Object

I tend to use a Lightroom to Photoshop workflow quite often now in my re-touch. When i do this i like to work non-desructively and keep my original RAW file as long as possible, even when coming from Lightroom.

I’ve written about this technique many times (a few of the related posts can be found below).

#CreativeFriday – Photoshop and Lightroom Workflows, Smart Objects and Compositing Images

#CreativeFriday – Lightroom and Photoshop Workflows, Smart Objects and Camera RAW filter

#CreativeFriday – Double RAW conversion using Smart Objects in Lightroom/Camera RAW (ACR), Photoshop and Camera RAW

#CreativeFriday – Photoshop’s Fade feature enhancement in Photoshop CC 2015

This technique is amazing and will keep your RAW file as a RAW file with the Lightroom or Camera RAW (ACR) adjustments.

This workflow will embed the RAW file plus the Lightroom/ACR adjustments into the Photoshop Smart Object layer. But sometimes it might be required to extract the RAW file from the Smart Object layer.

To do this, double click on the Photoshop Smart Object layer (marked in red below) and enter the Camera RAW panel.

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To extract the original file, the ‘Save Image’ can be used from the Camera RAW panel (marked in red below)

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The Save Image dialog box will be shown

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This will extract the image to a location that you can specify.

N.B. A couple of things to note :-

  • Saving anything other than a DNG file will bake in the Camera Raw or Lightroom adjustments into the save file (PSD/TIFF or JPG)
  • Saving as a DNG will not bake in the adjustments, the original RAW file can be recovered in Lightroom or Camera RAW.
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Adobe MAX – Photoshop Painted Chameleons

Recently we have had the chance to work the 3D model maker Jon Reilly. Jon was able to make the Chameleon come to life and allow us to paint it in different colours using just Photoshop CC’s 2D and 3D tools.

Jon has made many models in his professional career, and more information about Jon and the work that he has created by visiting his website.

The Chameleon was a joy to work with and a Perfect example of what you can achieve with Photoshop’s painting engine. The video on how one of the model was painted can be found at the bottom of the post.

Chameleon – Anthony
by rcurtis
on Sketchfab

Chameleon – Chuck
by rcurtis
on Sketchfab

How to!

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Adobe Max – Stratasys and Adobe Photoshop CC Painting Challenge

BRETOMER_006_300DPI_PS copy

“Bretomer”, by Nick Ervink, was printed using Connex3 technology. You can meet the artist and see more breathtaking achievements in shape and colour by visiting Stratasys in the Adobe Max Community Pavilion.

At the Stratasys stand you will also see an exclusive sneak peak into continuous colour 3D printing and collaboration with painting using Adobe Photoshop CC.

  • See astounding, vibrant 3D printed works of art and design
  • Try experimental colour design/painting with Photoshop CC
  • Compete in the design challenge to win one of the two daily awards of $1,000 toward Stratasys Direct Express printing services.

To enable your creative visions to come alive, there will be a 3D Chameleon model . The Chameleon was created by 3D model artist Jon Reilly, Jon has made many models in his professional career, and more information about Jon and the work that he has created by visiting his website. You will find workstations on the stand with the chameleon ready to paint, and workstations running Photoshop CC to make your creation come alive.

As an example of what’s possible, we have already painted and printed on the Stsratasys Connex 3 a variety of Chameleons, they will also be available for viewing (in different colours on the Stratasys stand in the community pavilion area).


If you would like to see other examples that have been painted in Photoshop CC, then there is a dedicated page.

If you are looking for ideas on how to paint the Chameleon, we have created a video to demonstrate the techniques used in Photoshop.


Also, the Stratasys Direct Express printing service profiles for Photoshop CC are now available from the Photoshop 3D services page.



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Free Photoshop, 3D and Photography talks at Creative Rooms – 15th October

I’m pleased to announce there will be some free Photography, 3D and Photoshop and Creative Cloud talks at Escape’s Creative Rooms event on Thursday 15th October. If anything grabs your attention and you would like to learn more, please register at CreativeRooms, then head to ‘What’s on’!.


The schedule for the day is shown below.
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#CreativeFriday – Using Quick Development Panel in Lightroom

Some times a Photograph just needs a quick edit and the Development can be too much and take too long to make an image look great. A quick and easy way for all users of Lightroom is the Quick Development panel in the Library panel, it’s especially good for people that are new to Lightroom or to Photography in general,  as the adjustments in the Library module work on using ‘stops’ (a term that is often used in Photography).

This image is from film (Portra 400) and it’s almost where I would like it to be, but I would like to turn it into a B&W photo, as well as just tweak the exposure/ contrast as well as a few other settings.

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Looking at the image, there are a couple of blemishes in the sky, these are easy to fix by using the Clone/Heal tool in the Development mode. This will be a simple step to fix these issues. Once the develop module is selected (by clicking on the text marked in red below), Lightroom will move into it’s very powerful Development mode (we are just going to fix these blemishes here, then back to the Library module). To remove the blemishes, the Clone/Heal tool (marked in yellow) can be used, to select it, just clicking directly on the tool (marked in yellow below).

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Once the Clone/Heal tool has been selected a circular tool will appear on the screen. The tool will either have one or two circles. If there are two, the outer circle is the full width of the tool, including the feather, the inner is the Clone/Heal area. If there is only one circle, then there is no feather on the tool so the fix won’t be as blended into the picture. The size of the tool and it’s feather can be controlled once the Clone/Heal has been selected, and is shown in the yellow area below.

The tool is easy to use. Place it over the area that needs to be replaced, making sure that the tool covers the area, or has a large enough feather to blend the fix into the scene. Then either click on the image to make the Clone/Heal, or click and drag to paint an area that will be fixed.

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Once the area has been covered/selected with the tool, a secondary circle will appear. This is the area that will be used to fix the target area. This circle can be freely moved if required, to fine tune the source. Don’t worry if it’s not correct the first time, the Clone/Heal area can be removed, by selecting it (clicking on the marked area, then pressing delete on the keyboard).

Another handy feature that is available on the Clone/Heal tool is the ‘Visualise Spots’. Turning this on will show the negative of the image and can raise any issues that are not too obvious on the image. This tool is great for identifying dust spots that can on the picture from the sensor. The slider next to the tick box is the sensitivity of the negative and will show more or less of the negative when moved.

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Once again the Clone/Heal tool can be used in this type of scenario and fix parts of this picture quickly and non destructively (i.e. the underlying RAW file is not changed during the editing process).

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Once this process has been completed, Lightroom can be moved back to the Library module for further enhancements.

Basic adjustments to the picture can be made using the Quick Development panel (marked in red below).

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From here presets can be used to quickly enhance your image. These can be applied quickly to the image, just by selecting the appropriate one.

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The image can be cropped from here, by choosing the crop ratio. The crop will be applied to the image, from the centre of the image outward.

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The image can also be converted to B&W from colour or vica versa.

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The image adjustment controls can be used to control the visual appearance of the image by clicking on the appropriate controls (show in red below). Each control has two single arrow buttons and two double arrow buttons.

The single button will increase/decrease the selected tone (exposure, contrast etc) by 1/3 of a stop. The double button will increase/decrease the tone value by a full stop.

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Making adjustments to your images in this way is similar to working in the camera and the restriction this it gives can be a simple way to working with the images and improving your photography whilst in the camera.

It took just two minutes to make this image into something that I can use.

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